Safety of pre-cooking prime rib/ for later searing? OK or Not?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by fpmich, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic


    My questions are:

    1. Would I safe if I slow smoke a prime rib roast to 125* IT resting to 130* and freezing, or quick cool in freezer, then fridge, for later final searing?

    2. Would this be an acceptable method, for transporting roast to another location later for use, and still have med rare roast served?

    3. Would this hold true also for whole, intact, pork roast?

    4. AND would I get the desired results of tenderness, juicy and tasty?  I know it won't be the same as fresh off the smoker.

    Yes, I know I would have to slowly simmer in bag, or use another method (oven, or grill/smoker) to reach IT of 125*-130* again, before searing.

    I think maybe a couple of these question overlap, but I'll leave it as is.  LOL

    The reason I ask, is that some of the people I cook for, can't travel much (or at all), to come to our house for dinner.
    It would be great to be able to bring them the real stuff, if this method is OK.

    I appreciate your feedback.

  2. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    I am curious about this myself.  Hopefully one of the more learned chefs around these parts could chime in on this.

    phatbac (Aaron)
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The reason I ask, is that some of the people I cook for, can't travel much (or at all), to come to our house for dinner.
    It would be great to be able to bring them the real stuff, if this method is OK.

    Why can't they travel.... Elderly.... Invalids.... Do they live assisted....

    They may have compromised immune systems...
  4. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes, you can.   Reheat in 250 degree oven until it's about 7-10 degrees below the finished IT you want then sear it.    It will turn out much better than you are imagining.     Absolutely delicious.  I mean to the point where you'd be hard pressed to tell that it wasn't cooked fresh.

    BTW, unless your freezer is basically empty, I'd crash cool the PR by putting it in a kitchen garbage bag and submerging it in an ice water bath.  Definitely wouldn't put a hot/warm PR into a stocked freezer.
  5. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks Demos.  Good point with the ice water rather than freezer too.

    Dave, it's mostly a matter of distance or inconvience for them to travel much.  Some are in their 70's, but just have trouble getting around.  Some have car troubles.
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Frank, This is a common practice in Restaurants that serve Prime Rib. The meat is seasoned and cooked to very rare then cooled and reheated as needed.

    If by " slow smoke " you mean, smoking the meat at 225°F? Then yes it is safe. At that temp the surface bacteria are eliminated and with proper clean handling and quick cooling, there will be no issues. Remember...No Injecting or breaking of the surface. Wait a min of 30 minutes to insert the Therm Probe.

    If Med/Rare is the desired result after the reheat and sear...An IT of 125-130°F is already there and the reheat will result in an over done roast. I would take it to an IT of 110° then cool as quickly as possible. The Ice Water is a fast method. This way when you reheat and sear you can go to 125° and have what is essentially a freshly cooked roast. There will be a slightly larger more done ring around the med/rare portion but your guests will be happy with the result.

    You can do the same with Intact Pork as well...JJ
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015
  7. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks Chef JJ for the verification on the pork roast too.  I understood it to be okay from that link, but wanted to double check in here..

    I was planning on smoking between 180*-200* until I reached an IT I want.  I usually don't probe intact roast until 1-2 hours, with low smoking temps, and then I always use a torch to sear the spot for a sterilized probe insertion.  That way I know the outside has been in hot enough temps, long enough, to be safe to probe.  Using a torch may be overkill, but I still do it.  All my roast have that one little darker sear spot on them.  LOL

    I'll use your advice to only take them to an IT of about 15*-20 lower than I want them to be finished at.  Makes sense to me.
  8. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    So I know this is venturing off topic, but I like to smoke prime rib to its finished temp then reheat it sous vide. That way it reheats to the exact temp it was cooked to the first time. I can't tell the difference between the fresh and the reheated. Of course this requires an immersion circulator but they are getting so cheap now it is worth the investment. 
  9. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Works the same way with an oven as long as you reheat/recook at a low temp like 200 - 250.
  10. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks all for the replies.  I was more concerned about the safety, which has been answered.

    I'm not too concerned about reheating and searing.  I know how to do that. 

    Been doing it for years with leftover prime rib from a good steakhouse in another town.  We go there maybe twice a year and wife and I both order their 24 oz. prime rib dinner, knowing we can't eat it all.  Take left overs home, slice to our size and reheat slowly.  We end up with 4-6 prime rib dinners (2-3 each) for about 60.00 bucks, depending on how hungry we are each time.  Can't beat that price.

    And... for that first dinner we don't have to cook any sides.  They are provided.

    Older & poor people are crafty!  10-15 bucks for prime rib dinners!  LOL

    bmaddox... not off topic at all.  Had to do with reheating.  As soon as I can scrape the money together, I'm going to buy an immersion sous vide unit.  Well, not only money... I have to convince my wife we need it too.  <grin>

    Will let you all know how my first one turns out when I do it.
  11. i just reheated a part of a leftover prime rib i did in a poor-man's sous-vide (crock pot filled with water). put it on high until 145 degrees, then put it on low and it stayed there. had the leftover prime rib in a vacuum sealed bag. 3.25 hours in the crock at that temp and it was still a nice perfect medium-rare and was delicious.

    seemed like a good option to not dry it out or cook it past what it was originally cooked at.

    man, my mouth is watering just thinking about that prime rib (which is good, because I have two more in the freezer).
  12. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    Well, I did one!  Prime Rib (bone intact) on the smoker.  No photo's because wife absconded with my camera that day.

    I let her hear about it too. LOL  My 1st ever prime rib on the smoker and no pics?  Not fair!!!

    It went well and is easy to do, it seems.  But I still managed to screw it up a bit with over cooking.

    Didn't stop us from eating and saying ummm-good tho".

    I put it in at the smoker temp of 180*  Kept the temp between 180*-200* the whole time.  Didn't add any wood smoke until after it had a chance to dry the surface 1st, at about the 45 min.-1 hr. mark.  Probed after  2 hours.  Rib Roast at 84*.

    After 4 hours from start, roast was @ 118* IT.  (I should've pulled it right then, but I didn't.  Unsure of myself),

    I thought maybe 120*-125* would be safer.  One hour later it was at 128* and rose to 135* while resting.  Still not too bad, right?

    Well, as my wife wasn't home I was holding it in fridge until she was.  THEN warmed it in crock pot at 130*-145* for five or six hours.  Roast was about 4 1/2"-5" thick.  (She was late getting home that day, or I would've only left it in crock 2 1/2 or 3 hours to warm.)  Took it out of bag and seared it under pre-heated broiler on high all the way around.

    It was still very good and tender, but WAY overdone.  I'd call it "well done" for a rib roast.  Wife didn't know why I thought it was over done tho', because it was so tender and full  of flavor.   It was pink edge to edge too, (but not red) even with my overcooking it.

    We've had one rib eye steak dinner, and now one prime rib dinner using reverse sear, and she is a believer in the longer process.  So am I.

    Oven or smoker, it's the only way I'm doing rib eyes again.  Worth the wait!

    On a side note, I mentioned to her that I don't see the need for smoking beef.  I can't taste the smoke in beef roast or brisket like I can with pork and chicken.  She said that roast was very smoky. Almost too much.  I couldn't taste it at all.

    I can, if I grill a steak on the grill, or open fire coals and eat it right away, but not if I smoke beef to eat later.

    She quit smoking cigs 4 years ago.  I still smoke them.  So I think my taster needs to be recalibrated.  LOL
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    if you've been smoking stuff in the smoker, you get acclimated to the smoke and have trouble tasting it for maybe 24 hours or so... smoked food will taste almost normal.... after a day or so,refer'd smoked foods will taste smoky again...
  14. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    You missed the part of "my wife wasn't home I was holding it in fridge until she was. "   Dave.

    That meant a couple of days.  I wasn't very clear on typing that. But I still couldn't notice much smoke flavor even 2 days later.

    She did though, so I guess I'll keep smoking them when I can afford it.

    I did a 3 1/2" thick. one bone prime rib (enough for 2-3 people, sliced right) in the oven last night. 

    Cooked at 170-180* until IT of 115*.  tented it to rest,  but it only rose to 117* IT before dropping.  Chilled it in Ziploc bag in ice water for almost an hour, then into fridge.  Will vac-pack later today, freeze for later, thaw and slowly reheat to IT of 125-128* before searing.  I have great hopes that this one will not be over done.

    We ate the leftovers from the other one last night.  Sliced 1/4" slices and warmed in oven.  Made gravy with juice and served with roasted potato's, caramelized onions and garlic.  It was a hit!
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Frank, morning.... I did miss that...... sorry.... Anyway, around here, if Bride says it has too much smoke, Dave reduces the smoke amount....
    Bacon she said, 2 hours was plenty..... OK..... So, last batch had 9-10 hours in 2 smokes.... then it sat in the refer, uncovered, for 6-7 days..... sliced etc.... she said it was the best and don't change a thing.... LOL.... I think it's good.... she does too....
    If we can keep the SWMBO happy, we got it made......
  16. i just don't sear prime rib roasts, only steaks... roasts are all slow cooked. there is the most minute of crusty bark on the outside, but its mostly about the tender, wondrous inside. yum.

    i have a few more roasts in my freezer, maybe i'll have to take another out and make it, making my mouth water thinking about it.
  17. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    I hear ya Dave.  It works that way here too.  LOL


    It wouldn't hurt my feelings or taste buds, to just warm my roast and eat without searing.  But nobody else in my family would stand for it.  LOL  I like it best with a little sear on myself.  Just adds a little more flavor.
  18. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    When I did my 1st prime rib, I also did a boneless pork loin with it.  I cut the loin in half before smoking.

    Using same smoker temps, I cooked loin until 146* then took off and wrapped.  IT rose to 148*.   Chilled and put into the fridge, then froze vacuumed packed.

    We ate some of it yesterday, and it was a hit with both of us.  Not quite as much flavor as a bone in one I had done, but I would do this again.

    Reheated vac-packed loin in crock pot to 155*,  2 hours, stirring water often.  Took out, towel patted dry the surface, rested uncovered for 30 minutes for more drying, and seared it over 1/2 chimney of RO Lump, briefly on all sides and ends.  Turn out great!

    I'm slowly learning the art of smoking.  But I will die before perfecting it.  LOL

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